Health

6 Tips Guaranteed To Help You Fall Back Asleep Faster

When counting sheep doesn't do the trick...

Nothing is worse than waking up in the middle of the night, only to find yourself staring at the ceiling unable to fall back asleep. Going to sleep in the first place can be hard enough for some people, but having to start all over again in the middle of the night can be extremely frustrating. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can make this easier on yourself. Next time you find yourself awake at 2 a.m., don’t fret; try these six tips to help you fall back asleep quickly instead.

1. Lower The Temperature In Your Room

Even if you don’t wake up drenched in sweat, it might be time to lower the thermostat. According to WebMD, the ideal temperature for sleep is between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. A mild drop in temperature can actually help induce sleep.

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Photo by hnnbz

2. Keep The Lights Off

It might be tempting to flick on the light switch once you’ve woken up, but try to keep the room dark. Turning on the light can mess up your body’s natural circadian rhythms, as your body interprets light as a signal to become alert. This can suppress the hormone melatonin, which is necessary to help make you feel sleepy.

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Flickr/Richard Leeming

3. Jot Down Your Thoughts

If you’re laying in bed with your mind racing, going over everything you have to do tomorrow, it’s time to let some of those thoughts out. Spend a little time journaling or quickly jotting down a to-do list to get these looming feelings off your chest. Research shows that journaling before bed results in reduced worry and stress, increased sleep time, and improved sleep quality.

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Flickr/Tim Taylor

4. Eat A Small Snack

Waking up hungry can make it hard to fall back asleep, especially if you ate an early dinner. Choose a midnight snack that can help encourage sleep, such as nuts, cheese or seeds. Avoid anything too heavy or that has caffeine.

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Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski

5. Put On Some Soothing Music

Putting on some calm music can help you fall asleep, especially if you’re having a hard time relaxing. Research shows that putting on slow tunes such as classical music can help you doze off, as it helps lower your heart rate closer to the “sleep zone.” Just make sure you don’t put on anything too upbeat or fast, which can have the opposite effect.

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Flickr/Sheila Sund

6. Use A Relaxation Technique

If all else fails, you can try a number of relaxation techniques to help unwind your mind and body. You can practice meditation or deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, or any other variation. Remember, taking the pressure off falling asleep will help you doze off naturally, so try not to get too stressed about being awake and let yourself relax.

Young Woman Meditating on the Floor --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Flickr/Spirit-Fire